Press Releases

HISTORIC PRESS RELEASE : From partnership to action – strengthening communities in Britain [December 2002]

The press release issued by HM Treasury on 4 December 2002.

Proposals to forge a stronger and more active voluntary and community sector, including an innovative pilot scheme to support volunteering gap years for young people from disadvantaged communities, were outlined today by Chancellor Gordon Brown and Home Secretary David Blunkett.

Speaking at a ‘Giving Campaign’ business breakfast in 11 Downing Street to champion Payroll Giving, Mr Brown and Mr Blunkett launched ‘Next Steps on Volunteering and Giving in the UK’, a paper setting out the Government’s commitment to promote the culture of volunteering and giving in the UK, including:

A commitment to encourage further donations using the range of financial incentives that promote giving, including Payroll Giving – supported by a 10 per cent Government supplement extended for one further year, as announced in the Pre Budget Report, to make sure all charities are claiming what they are eligible for – if, for example, just 2 per cent more employees were encouraged to give through payroll schemes, charities could receive up to £100m extra income.

A ‘Corporate Challenge’ with the corporate and voluntary sectors to look at how to best to promote the current tax incentives and develop new initiatives on employee volunteering; and

Widening opportunities for volunteering and working within local communities through a pilot Gap Year Scheme for young people from disadvantaged communities.

Mr Brown said:

“The Government is committed to ensuring that voluntary and community groups are able to play their full part in our society of the future, by helping them grow, become stronger and more confident. Together we want to build a new, mutually-supportive partnership between individuals, communities, businesses and Government, that continues to promote a culture of giving and volunteering, widens the opportunities for all, and strengthens and empowers our communities to play their part in the forging of a modern Britain.”

The Home Secretary, David Blunkett, said:

“Active citizenship, volunteering and community activity are crucial to the renewal of civic society in this country. We have a rich tradition of mutuality which we can build upon today as we establish a new relationship between Government, individuals and community.”

“The paper the Chancellor and I are launching today sets out how we will further promote a culture of giving and volunteering. But we all – Government, businesses and the voluntary sector – need to play a part. We would like companies to work with us, to help build strong and active communities by encouraging employee volunteering and corporate and individual giving.”

Speaking to an audience of business leaders and voluntary sector representatives, Mr Brown and Mr Blunkett urged business leaders to get behind Payroll Giving and promote it to their employees.

Welcoming the new paper on volunteering and giving, Lord Joffe, chair of the Giving Campaign said:

“This paper is a timely boost for giving and I’m delighted this event was chosen to launch it. Business has a big part to play in supporting philanthropy, particularly through the active promotion of Payroll Giving. I want to see Britain’s biggest companies take inspiration from the Government’s commitment and get behind Payroll Giving.”